We've hand-selected these Queens activities for kids from our Augsut 2011 calendar of events. This month in Queens, check out a variety of cultural fairs and festivals in Flushing, Corona, Sunnyside, and Jamaica; stop by NYSCI for some creative projects; take a Mexican Dance class; or catch a Broadway show at Queens Theatre in the Park. Whether you live there or are just visiting Queens this August, there's plenty to keep your kids entertained!
East Meets Eastern Seaboard
Celebrate the Year of the Tiger with a splash at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Rain or shine, over 100 teams will race their boats on Meadows Lake. The event boasts multicultural performances, ethnic eats, and plenty of action. Based on the legend of a patriot poet named Qu Yuan, who supposedly drowned himself in the Ni Lo River after the homeland he advocated reforms for was invaded, the festival commemorates the fishermen who raced out to save Qu Yuan. August 13-14. 9am-5pm. FREE. Flushing Meadows Corona Park, 11101 Corona Avenue, Flushing.
You don't have to be Jewish or come from Brooklyn to enjoy Jake Ehrenreich's autobiographical play, A Jew Grows in Brooklyn, a hit from Broadway (where it played for more than a year and a half) that is an "engaging, poignant and hilarious" (Palm Beach Post) comedy musical about the path to an identity. The show chronicles the life of Ehrenreich, a uniquely talented American-born child of Holocaust survivors. Through stories, comedy, and music performed with a live band, Jake recreates this unforgettable journey of discovery and lessons learned. Playing select days, August 4-21. Best for teens and adults. $49.50. Queens Theatre in the Park, Claire Shulman Playhouse Main Stage in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Corona.
Summer Dance Special
Children perform traditional Mexican dances in a donation-based program, Danza Mexicana, taught by the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company. The children's program is led by Calpulli's teaching artists and hosted at professional dance studios in Astoria. Dance training incorporates lessons in history, movement fundamentals, esteem building, teamwork, and supports a healthy, active lifestyle. The program is by voluntary donation. All families are invited to bring their children to this unique arts experience made up of fun, movement, and learning. Tuesdays (9am-10am for ages 5-7; 10am-11am for ages 8 and up) and Sundays (1-2pm for ages 5-7), 2-3pm for ages 8-11, 3-4:30pm for ages 12 and up) in August. Donations accepted. Tuesday classes are held at the Arts Cure Center at 37-18 Northern Boulevard, Room 315, Long Island City. Sunday classes are held at Astoria School of Fine Arts at 38-01 23rd Avenue, Astoria.
Meet a Maker
On two weekends in August, families have the opportunity to participate in design-based challenges, tinker with various tools and toys, and meet local makers at the New York Hall of Science's Maker Days. Kids and parents alike can unleash their creative energy by partaking in robotics activities using Capsela and Zoob. For additional learning opportunities, attend featured demonstrations and DIY projects by the NYSCI Explainers and special guest makers. August 6-7 and 20-21; 10am. $11; $8 children 2-17, students with college ID, and seniors. New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona.
Cultures from all over the world are taking Queens by storm this month, and you can take the opportunity to trade in your family heritage for someone else's. Or better yet, teach your kids about various global customs while enjoying delectable ethnic eats, attending traditional dance performances, and catching a foreign flick or two. Check out our picks for a few must-see celebrations.
Maybe you speak Bangla, or maybe you have trouble locating this South Asian country on the globe -- it doesn't matter. Everyone is welcome to participate in a Bangladeshi Cultural Event at Highland Park. Enjoy tempting treats such as curry dishes and a yogurt drink called lassi while learning about the country's many customs and practices. August 3. 7pm. Highland Park, Jamaica Avenue and Elton Street.
You don't have to go farther than the Queens Museum of Art to travel the world at Target Passport Fridays. Each Friday showcases a different country. Begin with the Dominican Republic on August 5, continue on to Egypt on August 12 and Colombia on August 19, and finish the tour in Venezuela on August 26. These outdoor events feature musical and dance performances as well as a cultural film at sunset. During the performances, the museum's galleries and café will remain open until 8pm, and kids may choose to participate in special art projects. Event runs 6:30-10pm; art projects 6:30-8pm. Queens Museum of Art, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Corona.
All aboard the International Express. This seven-mile walking voyage from Asia to the Americas takes participants along the Flushing local #7 subway line to stops in India, the Philippines, Mexico, and China. The journey includes lunch at a local ethnic restaurant and a tour of the Louis Armstrong Museum before concluding at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. August 13. 10am. $3 walk; $8 museum. 40th Street Station, Queens Boulevard and 40th Street, Sunnyside. www.shorewalkers.org.
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